“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”

It is important to keep up with technology and utilize it in fundraising – especially as you reach out to the Gen X and Y donors. These new technologies, tools and the online world provides access to donors that was not previously there.

At the same time, I want to encourage you to continue to implement your current fundraising initiatives and not to lose sight of the fundraising tools you have been using all along. It is too easy to shoot a donor an email, when a phone call or even a personal visit would be more appropriate. Although your donor receives your email newsletter and is a “fan” on facebook, this does not constitute relationship building – this is communication, not cultivation.

Ultimately it is all about building relationships and face-to-face meetings. Take the time to build relationships with all generations of donors. Face-to-face meetings may look different for each generation. For the “Mature Donors,” they are going to appreciate when you come over to their house for coffee or lunch. More likely than not, they don’t get out as much anymore and really enjoy visitors. For your “Gen X and Yers,” you’ll probably be most successful meeting up with them for a cup of coffee or drink after work.

Each donor is unique and likes to be cultivated, solicited and stewarded in his or her own way. Get to know your donor to find out how to build a relationship. The return on donations for your younger donors may be small now, but down the road when your relationship has been 10, 20 or even 30 years long, the return will be great.

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